Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Darker, Sterner Days of America's Tomorrows

by Pastor Ed Evans

Many of us, whether supporters of Donald Trump, cautious admirers, or die-hard non-supporters, have been watching the TV coverage of the Republican National Convention.  As one who has spent more than 50 years dealing with the American and international news media, I have perhaps paid attention to different aspects of that coverage than have others, and I find great disappointment.
CBS in particular has done a wretched, deliberately I suspect, wretched job.  At a high point in the early convention CBS broke for a several days old interview with Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton.  Here they are promoting gavel-to-gavel coverage of a Republican convention and they switch to a Democratic opponent who is castigating and savaging her opponent, Republican Donald Trump. 

I was so disgusted I switched to C-Span and there I stayed.  Even-handed coverage.
But it was when I switched that I believe I discovered the reason CBS went to a Hillary Clinton interview.  For at the convention, at that very point, conventioneers were hearing from the former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, former LtGen. Michael Flynn, on the disastrous amount of damage Hillary Clinton had done with her injudicious handling of her email and classified documents on an unofficial email system she had set up for herself.  And it is disastrous.  For not only are our classified secrets now in the hands of our enemies and detractors, but so are her private emails.  This sets her up for a monumental amount of blackmail, if our enemies wish.  How can one operate in the Oval Office on behalf of America under those circumstances?
So much of the past four years under the Obama administration needs to be corrected.  Operating outside the bounds of Constitutional authority, without Congress holding his feet to the fire, President Obama and his administration have created racial, economic, and national security havoc.  Even the social assistance program dubbed “Obamacare”, intended to meet the needs of so many people, is coming apart and leaving those who need it most in economic and medical jeopardy.  There is so much that needs to be corrected.
And so it is with a cautiously hopeful heart that many Americans, politically affiliated or not, are watching the events play out at the Republican National Convention, placing Donald Trump and Governor Pence in the spotlight of history.  All the while the CBS reporters go on camera discussing the size of the hall, the empty seats, seeking out delegates who will have a targeted bad word to say about Trump.  CBS has studiously abandoned their responsibility to the American people to provide all the facts unfettered with personal agendas.  The CBS reportage team embarrassed themselves when they went onto the Convention floor seeking the Convientioneers’ comments about the similarities between Melania Trump’s speech and an old one of First Lady Michelle Obama.  Responded the delegates on the floor: “We don’t care.”
All of this sadness has sent my mind reeling back to another era, when world leaders were world leaders and the rest of us were glad of it.  And Winston Churchill, he who once termed himself merely the lion given the gift of being the British nation’s roar in victory over World War II, Churchill appeared at the Harrow boys’ school in England to give a speech.  The words still ring out with the bronze bell sound of freedom and dedication to that freedom, today.
A sermon illustration from Pastor Lee Eclov of Vernon Hills, Illinois, best recalls the event, as follows.
There is a widespread myth about a famous short speech supposedly delivered by Winston Churchill. Most versions go something like the one I found in a Christian book:
There's this famous story about Sir Winston Churchill, who near the end of his distinguished career was asked to return and speak at his old school, Harrow (where as a boy he'd almost flunked out)…
The great day finally arrived, and after the school's fanfare and acclamation Sir Winston stood to his feet, acknowledged the introduction, and gave the following address, which is quoted in full: 'Young men, never give up. Never give up! Never give up!! Never, never, never-never-never-never!'"
According to Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, the speech was not delivered near the end of Churchill's career (he died in 1965), but on October 29, 1941. And he wasn't Sir Winston till 1953. And what he really said was, "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense."
In addition, this familiar speech was not 29 words long, but rather two pages. The famous quote was neither at the beginning nor the end, but hidden away in a long paragraph recounting Great Britain's progress during the first 10 months of World War II. The full speech reads:
Almost a year has passed since I came down here at your Head Master's kind invitation in order to cheer myself and cheer the hearts of a few of my friends by singing some of our own songs. The 10 months that have passed have seen very terrible catastrophic events in the world—ups and downs, misfortunes—but can anyone sitting here this afternoon, this October afternoon, not feel deeply thankful for what has happened in the time that has passed and for the very great improvement in the position of our country and of our home? Why, when I was here last time we were quite alone, desperately alone, and we had been so for five or six months. We were poorly armed. We are not so poorly armed today; but then we were very poorly armed. We had the unmeasured menace of the enemy and their air attack still beating upon us, and you yourselves had had experience of this attack; and I expect you are beginning to feel impatient that there has been this long lull with nothing particular turning up!
But we must learn to be equally good at what is short and sharp and what is long and tough. It is generally said that the British are often better at the last. They do not expect to move from crisis to crisis; they do not always expect that each day will bring up some noble chance of war; but when they very slowly make up their minds that the thing has to be done and the job put through and finished, then, even if it takes months—if it takes years—they do it.
Eclov, in his remembrance of the event, goes on to say, “Another lesson I think we may take ….. is that appearances are often very deceptive, and as Kipling well says, we must "…meet with Triumph and Disaster. And treat those two impostors just the same."

God alone knows how the November election will turn out.  Many of us hope Trump will be the victor and he will keep his promises to America to lead this nation back to greatness, out of a mire of ethical, moral, economic and legal bad decisions.  Out of the darkness, into the sunlight, without failure or obfuscation.  Against that we must never give in.  Never, never, never.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Behind Every Blade of Grass -- An American

By Pastor Ed Evans
          Righteous anger and indignation has its limits, and at some point caring people must speak up -- or explode.  We’ve seen some explosions recently, AKA violence.
          I just watched the CBS Evening news for July 11th, 2016, and the limit has been reached in this quarter.  
          This essay will probably lose me friends, but what I am about to say cries out to be said, and I see no one else saying it.  If you need to defriend me, cross me off your Christmas card list, tell others “I told you so,” go for it.  In the greater scheme of things I, and my opinions, are of little importance.  I would wish that those with more importance, greater audiences, and more power to impact American society and our cultural ethics would speak up about these issues.  But I’m not seeing it, so while I am only one, I am one American.  I am one proud to be an American, honored that I had the opportunity, on four battlefields, to defend the freedoms of this nation; honored that my wife and I have launched four adult sons and one adult daughter into the American nation who have no desire to do harm to others, who believe in integrity and personal responsibility.
          The righteous anger and indignation of which I speak has been building for some time.  It is partly borne of watching elected officials fawn like schoolchildren seeking favors, avoiding responsible action, indulging in petulant finger-pointing when they should be leading the way to seeking and supporting real answers to real problems affecting real people.  That is why they were elected.  Instead they chain dance behind their chosen political party, engage in smearing the efforts and candidates from opposing political parties, merely muddying the water and driving away creative solutions.
          What finally drove me to set down in black and white the indignation I am feeling was the CBS Evening news coverage showing testimony by the Director of the FBI and “explanations” by Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton about the FBI Director’s decision not to recommend prosecution regarding her use of unprotected, unofficial emails while Secretary of State.  It does not seem to matter that people of lesser social rank, who also mishandled classified information, regardless of intent, have lost their jobs, been fined, and have been jailed.
          It should not be lost on us that Hillary Clinton initially claimed her emails had not included any classified information.  This was proven to be a lie when the FBI Director disclosed her emails included 23,035 pieces of classified information, data which we can safely assume is now in the hands of other nations to America’s disadvantage.  And if that were not bad enough, the same people now have access to all those emails between Hillary Clinton and others, which should provide a rich field for blackmail on a national and international scale of the candidate should she become President.
          But my real question is why are we even still discussing this?
          We know from Congressional hearings the part this woman, and others, played in the horrible abandonment and deaths of four Americans in Benghazi.  Beyond that, the Internet has been alive with a long list of deaths, legal infractions, and scandalous peccadillos that makes the Clinton family look like a ripe target for RICO charges of organized gang activity.
          As an American, as a military veteran and patriot, as a father, a husband, and an ordained minister of Jesus Christ, I strenuously object to being played for a fool, object to the supposition I cannot discern good and evil, truth and lie for what they are; object beyond measure to the criminal treatment besieging my beloved country.
          Nevertheless, the offensive political atmosphere is only a portion of my complaint about the current attempt to dumb down this nation and malign the integrity of its citizens.  Alphabetically, my complaints would run the gamut from abortion as the murder of disenfranchised infants – if Black Lives truly Matter, they need to begin at the abortion clinics! – to blatant lies by America’s political elite, to foolhardy economics being approved at the highest levels of government to support nations foreign to our interests, build Islam mosques, and purchase weapons for other nations which will one day be turned on us, as history has shown. 
          This is what I want:
          All those who consider yourselves a member of a race before you consider yourselves Americans -- stand down.  The equality spoken of in the U.S. Constitution (14th Amendment) and all ten amendments of the Bill of Rights means everyone has the opportunity to be equal.  No one is more equal than anyone else.  If you don’t feel you have equal opportunities, then work to change that.  Violence is not the answer.  Stomping your food and demanding others give you what you will not work for to attain for yourself, won’t work.
          If you have immigrated to this nation illegally, go home.  Go home and work to change your home country into what you want it to be, as Americans have done, shedding their blood, committing their lives, their fortunes and their futures to achieve what we have.  We did not do it so those not familiar with how we got here can come in and change America back to a third world banana republic.  “Illegal” means you committed a crime in sneaking in here.  You are welcome to come in legally, work for a season, and then return home.  If you want to stay here, go home and immigrate legally, as many others have done.
          If you have immigrated to this nation legally, something about this nation must have impressed you.  With all respect to your prior experiences, learn what it means to be an American, and be an American, not some hyphenated halfway American.  If you are not happy with America as your home, go home.  To all others, welcome aboard.  Glad you are here.
          Presidents, Congressmen, Senators, you need to re-read your oath of office, and note that you are accepting responsibility for the protection and betterment of the nation and its people.  There is nothing in the oath of office about your elected office being a career choice, about feathering your own nest and building a war chest for the next election, about decision-making being based upon the precepts of your political party, or about being re-elected.  We the People come first.  If that makes no sense to you, offends you, doesn’t work for you, turn the lights out and go home.  Demonstrate some self respect.
          Integrity, dedication, truthfulness must be restored to those in federal service, whether elected, appointed, or just hired.  The ship of state is continually running aground because of underhanded dealings, scams, chicanery, illegal and personal deals by those in public office.  When wrong-doing is uncovered, responsible people take action, and there are consequences, not cover-ups.
          The world remains an unsafe and often ugly place, and the state of a nation’s security forces is critical.  Using those armed forces as replacements for hard-fought diplomacy, as bargaining chips at budget time, and as social experiments to check-off political points is not only unbelievably foolish, but sets the nation at a risk level which may not be restored.  The world changes, opportunities change, the nature and power and intent of once-allies change.  The U.S. Military has a purpose.  Fund it properly, leave it alone, and get out of its way.
          Finally, while there is a coterie of those who would argue America’s Christian beginnings, nevertheless, our history and the intents of our forefathers rest upon the search for liberty to worship in freedom, and the early predominance was for the Christian religion.  Over our 240 years, Americans have learned to share that freedom perhaps beyond even what our forefathers envisioned.  As a people we make room for those who wish to worship within the framework of their upbringing, and according to their conscience.  That said, the unparalleled violence associated with the Islamic religion requires a closer look at what it is.  Islam, historically, is not a pure religion, but a religious oligarchy, that is, an organization forever seeking conquest through religion.  Under this organizational definition, borne out by the growth and conquest of Islam itself, Islam does not qualify as a “religion” meriting the protection of religion through the U.S. Constitution.  For acceptance of Islam within the United States means protection of a force seeking the overthrow of the government of the United States.  The adherents to Islam need to step back from their support of jihad, renounce violence and their religion’s stated purpose of conquest.  If that is not acceptable, Islam must be banned, as it was originally by the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act.. H.R.13342; Pub.L. 414;182 Stat.66, which in Section 212, Chapter 2, prohibits entry into America any immigrants belonging to an organization seeking the unlawful overthrow of the federal government of the United States by force, violence and other unconstitutional means.  Islam has already been banned in Japan, Angola, and China, and declared a non-religion in Italy.
          So the message is that if you come to America to live, whatever your skin color, original nationality or religion, come to be an American, not to change us to your ways.  Or, if you can’t or won’t do this, stay home.  Choice is yours.
          For the rest of you involved in un-American activities, knock it off, or leave.  If you don’t know what it means to be an American, find out and adjust.  Or leave.
          Face it, for those of us who were born here, grew up here, studied American history and civics, and have grandchildren and great-grandchildren to whom we want to bequeath this great country, we have nothing to lose and a nation to gain; a nation we love. 
          I close this with the words of two of America’s presidents.  First, George W. Bush: “"There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom." 
          And secondly, John F. Kennedy: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.  This much we pledge--and more.” 
Behind every blade of beautiful American grass, an American.


Friday, July 8, 2016

Sheepdog Thoughts - July 9, 2016

Seems the GOP has come out with a 100-day plan to stop Donald Trump.  But Rush Limbaugh has asked a very embarrassing question: “Where’s your 100-day plan to stop Hillary Clinton?”  For that matter, what happened to a 100-day plan to stop Obama??!!
Might as well face it, boys and girls.  The GOP has already lost. They don't seem to understand their viability rests on voter support. This week, next week, next year, two years from now, it doesn't matter. It's all downhill from here slicker 'n snot and twice as nasty. Tell it to them real slow, Rush, so they understand.

--:-- Sheepdog Thoughts --:--

In New York City this past month, Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson met with a large gathering of evangelical leaders.  The meeting was closed, as in doors closed, security in place, and the news media outside cooling their heels.  Now the gossipy news media hollered bloody murder about that, but I would point out that the way they twist everything Trump does and says, it looks like it would be better to do and say what must be done and said, and just give the news media a press release.  They have forfeited their right to any assumption they will deliver honest and unbiased reportage of political activities on either side of the aisle.  Besides, the last time the news media asked Trump what his favorite Bible verse was, he told them it was “2 Corinthians 3:17.” They ate him alive with “who says ‘2 Corinthians’, it is “2nd Corinthians, so he must not know his Bible.  There was a reasonable explanation involving Evangelist Tony Perkins, which Perkins affirmed, but they were not interested.  I would also point out that if you punch in “2 Corinthians” and Google it, you will find all kinds of such references.  But they couldn’t be bothered to do that.  They latched on to it to make a point they knew nothing about.  Give it to them in writing.  They are less likely to play fast and loose with something they know you have a verifiable copy of to refute lies and innuendos.
What a shame America’s real news media is lost to us.  Where once the American news media was the watchdog of government, run by  patriots and gifted purveyors of news, today they are the lapdog of government and being today run by bean counters.

--:-- Sheepdog Thoughts --:--

Former FBI assistant director James Kallstrom recently went on Fox News to discuss the aftermath of the deadly Islamic terrorist attacks in Paris and how the Bureau can't go sniffing around anything to do with Muslims on orders from the top.   You can read more at

--:-- Sheepdog Thoughts --:--

What a spectacle in the U.S. House of Representatives – Democrats holding a mass “sit-in” on the House floor instead of abiding by the House rules.  Yep, what great role models for our youth they are. If you don't get your way throw a tantrum, ignore the rules. It's called anarchy, kids; A-N-A-R-C-H-Y, anarchy.  Except, it is not the American way.  But, it did give them a great opportunity send out more fund-raising letters.

--:-- Sheepdog Thoughts --:--

Much of what we see today, which our own minor human wisdom tells us is wrong and outside of God, is the result of humanist thought placing itself above God. We place our own thoughts on the throne and call them God. But God is not amused. If we cannot believe the Word of God, and we pay no attention to what Jesus tells us through scripture – “You can’t believe everything in the Bible…” -- or to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, then we have not surrendered our will to the will of God, and we should call ourselves anything but Christian. Because we can already see around us God separating the sheep from the goats, and when Jesus returns, those who have formed their own religions outside of the will of Almighty God, are not going to be known to Him anyway. No excuses. No explanations. No arguments. Only the damning words, "I never knew you." Make the best of it, then, for our eternal life, or death, has already begun.

--:-- Sheepdog Thoughts --:--

Every time the liberals crow about a survey that shows Hillary ahead of Donald Trump, and the rest of the media comes back to correct their "oversampling of Democrats", I begin to see a wave of angry voters building into a tidal wave of resentment against what the Democrats have done to this nation of good people. C'mon November!!!

--:-- Sheepdog Thoughts --:--

Newt Gingrich recently declared publicly that the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are in open warfare against the Republican Party’s presumptive candidate for President, Donald Trump.  He’s not wrong.  Their actions show they have been.
The major American news media has betrayed the faith put in them on behalf of the American people. Today's news media is run by bean counters, not newsmen, and they are as frightened as the political mafia that a non-politician, a businessman who knows how to read a financial ledger, is going to upset the sweet deals they have made for their own futures. Donald Trump has made it plain he intends to set the federal government aright once more, and that scares the behind-the-door deal makers. It doesn't scare the American people. We see the news media and the political mafia for what they are.

--:-- Sheepdog Thoughts --:--

Eleven police officers were shot ambush-style, including four fatally, in Dallas this past Thursday night by at least two snipers, amid a protest against the recent police shootings of two black men.
The growing lack of respect for law and order is an encroaching demon that will eventually open the gates to the barbarians who would overcome America and its freedoms. We don't obey the law because we like it, we obey laws because we agree there must be laws -- for everyone.
Our nation is rapidly coming undone. Those who are ignorant of how Hitler took power, and how Germany welcomed his heavy handed actions to stop the violence, should educate themselves. This is how tyranny begins. Next step, martial law, which we cannot allow.

I firmly believe the flaw in their arrogant plans will be the millions of military veterans who have a life and death investment in this nation, who are trained and fully armed, and will not stand by and watch tyranny take over. What Japanese Admiral Yamamoto feared during WWII, what kept them from invading America, remains true, that there is a gun behind every blade of grass in America. This we will defend.